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Read more about OSHA's heat awarness campaign

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  • 16 Sep 2014 5:07 PM | Jim Rogers

    Be prepared to comply with the new rules for reporting serious injuries directly to OSHA! 


    New rules in states under Federal jurisdiction take effect on January 1, 2015. State plan states are also urged to adopt the new rules effective in January but may delay implementation slightly. Either way, here is a look at the new rules:


    Previously, employers had to report the following events to OSHA:

    • All work-related fatalities
    • All work-related hospitalizations of three or more employees

    Now, employers have to report the following events to OSHA:

    • All work-related fatalities
    • All work-related in-patient hospitalizations of one or more employees
    • All work-related amputations
    • All work-related losses of an eye

    Employers must report work-related fatalities within 8 hours of finding out about it.

    For any in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss employers must report the incident within 24 hours of learning about it.


    Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Further, for an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, then incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.


    Employers have three options for reporting the event:

    1. By telephone to the nearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours.
    2. By telephone to the 24-hour OSHA hotline (1-800-321-OSHA or 1-800-321-6742).
    3. OSHA is developing a new means of reporting events electronically, which will be released soon and accessible on OSHA's website.

    This is a significant new rule! Read more in the OSHA press release here, or click here to go to OSHA’s web site pages that explain the new rules and answer questions pertaining to them. 

  • 04 Sep 2014 2:57 PM | Jim Rogers

    WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today released Recommended Practices for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job.

     

    Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels made the announcement today at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association annual conference in National Harbor, Md. The new Recommended Practices publication highlights the joint responsibility of the staffing agency and host employer to ensure temporary workers are provided a safe work environment.

    "An employer's commitment to the safety of temporary workers should not mirror these workers' temporary status," said Dr. Michaels. "Whether temporary or permanent, all workers always have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Staffing agencies and the host employers are joint employers of temporary workers and both are responsible for providing and maintaining safe working conditions. Our new Recommended Practices publication highlights this joint responsibility."

    Temporary workers are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative, launched last year, includes outreach, training and enforcement to assure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. In recent months, OSHA has received and investigated many reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, some in their first days on the job. The Recommended Practices publication focuses on ensuring that temporary workers receive the same training and protection that existing workers receive.

     

    "Workers sent by a staffing agency to a worksite deserve the same level of protection from workplace hazards as the host employer's workers do," said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. "Recognizing that temporary workers are often new to the workplace to which they are sent, we believe these recommended practices will provide a strong foundation for host employers and staffing agencies to work together to provide a comprehensive program that protects the safety and health of all workers."

     

    The new guidance recommends that staff agency/host employer contracts clearly define the temporary worker's tasks and the safety and health responsibilities of each employer. Staffing agencies should maintain contact with temporary workers to verify that the host has fulfilled its responsibilities for a safe workplace.

     

    The Recommended Practices publication is available at

    http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3735.pdf*.

     

    Additional information and resources on temporary workers can be accessed at https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/.

     

    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov

  • 10 Aug 2014 8:10 AM | Jim Rogers

     

    August 7, 2014
    Contact: Office of Communications
    Phone: 202-693-1999

    CDC report on OSHA's review of heat-related enforcement cases highlights
    need for acclimatization to prevent worker deaths

    WASHINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today issued a report on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's review of 20 heat-related enforcement cases from 2012 to 2013. OSHA's analysis, described in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , suggests that the primary risk factor for heat fatalities is the lack of acclimatization programs.

    Of the 13 enforcement cases that involved worker fatalities, nine of the deaths occurred in the first three days of working on the job, four of them occurring on the worker's first day. In all 20 cases, heat illness prevention programs were found to be incomplete or absent, and no provision was made for acclimatizing new workers to the heat. Acclimatization is a critical part of preventing heat illnesses and fatalities, and workers should gradually build up workloads and exposure to heat by taking frequent breaks for water and rest in shade or air conditioning.

    OSHA's national Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Workers, now in its fourth year, raises awareness among workers and employers about the risks for heat-related illness or death and provides tools to help prevent them. The agency's review found that the core elements of its campaign, "Water. Rest. Shade.," remain critical components of a comprehensive heat illness prevention program that can help save workers' lives. It is also recommended that employers have prevention programs that include oversight, hazard identification, a formal acclimatization program, modified work schedules as necessary, training, monitoring for signs and symptoms and emergency planning to prevent heat-related fatalities.

    OSHA has a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. The app displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level. Since its 2011 launch, approximately 160,000 users have downloaded the app. For more information and resources in English and Spanish see www.osha.gov/heat.

    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

  • 03 Apr 2014 1:07 PM | Jim Rogers

    Federal OSHA Fatality Investigations

    for the Three Industries with the Highest Number of Fatalities

    FY2011-FY2012


    A recent analysis of fatality investigations conducted by OSHA for investigations conducted in FY2011 to FY2012 revealed that the three industries with the highest number of fatalities were landscaping services (with a total of 160 investigations); highway, street and bridge construction (with a total of 129 investigations); and roofing contractors (118 investigations).  

     

    The leading causes of death across these industries were falls (35.2%), vehicles (15.3%) and electrocutions (11.7%).  Details of those deaths are presented in the table below.






    Landscaping Services

    Of the 44 workers in landscaping services who died from a fall, 27 fell from a tree (61.3% of workers who died from falls and 16.9% of all workers who died in landscaping services).  In two of these cases, the workers were killed when they fell either with the tree or with the limb on which they were working.  Eleven workers (25% of workers who died from falls and 6.9% of all workers who died in landscaping services)) fell from equipment used while doing tree work.  Nine (9) workers appear to have fallen from vehicle mounted lifts and two (2) were in or on cranes.  An additional 30 workers were killed when a tree or part of a tree fell on them, and 13 workers were electrocuted while working in trees.   Of these 13 fatalities due to electrocution while working in trees, 3 occurred in workers while working in palm trees at the time of their deaths.  Indeed, palm trees are the only tree type mentioned repeatedly and are associated with 6 deaths in this industry.   They are associated with 3 electrocutions, two (2) falls, and one (1) death associated with crushing. 

    Note:  Three workers in landscaping services died from drowning.  These might have been prevented if the victims had been wearing life-jackets or some other safety device.


    Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction

    There were 129 deaths in highway, street and bridge construction from FY2011 to FY2012.  Fifty-six (56) of these, (43%) were due to workers being struck by vehicles.  In 39 cases (69.6%), the victim was struck by a vehicle on the road that was not associated with the worksite.  In 16 cases (28.6%), workers were killed after being struck by work vehicles.  The next leading cause of death in this industry was due to crushing.  However, the objects that crushed the workers are varied; so, it is hard to draw any inferences.


    Roofing Contractors

    The overwhelming majority (73.7%) of roofing contractors who were killed on the job died after a fall.  Most fell off a roof.  However, a significant minority died after falling off a ladder or scaffold (13 of 87 or 14.9%) or falling through a skylight (11 of 87 or 12.6%).  Electrocution was responsible for 14% of all deaths in this industry.

  • 02 Apr 2014 6:02 AM | Jim Rogers

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today released a new educational resource that focuses on requirements for injury recording of temporary worker injuries and illnesses. The bulletin explains the requirements for both the staffing agency and the host employer. The new Recordkeeping Bulletin* addresses how to identify who is responsible for recording work-related injuries and illnesses of temporary workers on the OSHA 300 log. 


    OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative is an agency-wide concerted effort that uses enforcement, outreach and training to assure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. In recent months, OSHA has received and investigated many reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, many of which occur within their first week on the job. OSHA's initiative was launched to raise awareness and compliance with requirements that temporary workers receive the same training and protection that existing workers receive.


    "The Recordkeeping Bulletin is the first of many materials we are releasing and helps clarify which employers are responsible for reporting injuries and illnesses," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "These materials will provide valuable information for both host employers and staffing agencies on how they can work together to make sure their workers are properly trained and protected."


    "The American Staffing Association appreciates and supports OSHA's efforts to ensure temporary workers' safety and well-being, and looks forward to continuing to work with OSHA towards that end," said Stephen Dwyer, general counsel with ASA, the national trade association representing the staffing industry.


    Under the OSHA Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904), covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses.

    The temporary worker Recordkeeping Bulletin helps businesses determine which employer is responsible for recording work-related injuries and illness on the OSHA 300 log. This is the first in a series of guidance documents that will be released to support the initiative to raise awareness about compliance with OSHA requirements for temporary workers.

    For more information on OSHA's Recordkeeping and Reporting requirements, visit https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/index.html. Additional information and resources on temporary workers can be accessed at https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/.


    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

    ###

  • 18 Feb 2014 3:10 PM | Jim Rogers

    PtD addresses worker exposure to hazards during the design stages of a project. When a building is de-signed, risks of fall-related injuries and fatalities can be minimized with a life-cycle approach to address fall hazards for the workers who construct, operate, maintain, and eventually demolish a building. This approach can include using a building’s features to address fall hazards in construction plans, considering safety when buying equipment, and communicating risks to building owners and facilities personnel.

     

    New information published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) addresses some of these issues in a paper titled Preventing Falls Through the Design of Roof Parapets. NIOSH  recommends that construction sites use parapets, guardrails, and permanent anchor points to help prevent falls during construction. When addressed at the design phase of a structure, these same features can be used to protect workers throughout the building's life cycle as it is repaired and maintained.

     

    Of the 4,609 fatal work injuries that occurred in 2011, 541 (12%) were the result of falls to a lower level [BLS 2012]. The NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program (an activity of the NIOSH Division of Safety Research (DSR) investigates worker fatalities to determine causes, and recommends injury prevention measures. A 2005 study analyzed 224 FACE case reports and found that 42% of fatalities might be linked to the building design, and 6 fatalities may have been prevented if the building designs had included parapets for fall protection.

     

    Read more by clicking here to download a PDF version of the NIOSH document, or go to the NIOSH PtD web site at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/PtD/.  

  • 03 Feb 2014 2:07 PM | Jim Rogers
    OSHA is reminding covered employers to post OSHA's Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2013 and were logged on OSHA's Form 300, the log of work-related injuries and illnesses. The summary must be posted between February 1st and April 30th of each year and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.

    Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries may be exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. A complete list of exempt industries in the retail, services, finance, insurance and real estate sectors can be found at http://s.dol.gov/YP. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping Web page for more information on recordkeeping requirements.

    The Western OSHA Education Center conducts classes on OSHA recordkeeping rules and requirements on a regular basis. Click here to go to our course information page for more information
  • 18 Nov 2013 10:18 AM | Jim Rogers
    The following link to an index page on osha.gov contains links to download or view over 75 safety videos produced by OSHA and made available to the public. Topics include everything from falls in construction to confined spaces to medical evaluations for respiratory protection, including many videos produced in Spanish. This is a great resource for trainers, employers and workers. Find them all cataloged at https://www.osha.gov/video/index.html

    Most of these videos can be viewed on-line or downloaded to your computer so they can be viewed in the field when you don't have an internet connection. Below is an example of one of the crane related videos.







     


  • 15 Nov 2013 8:59 AM | Jim Rogers
    WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.

    "Three million injuries are three million too many," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer's obligation to transmit these records to OSHA."

    The public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. A Federal Register notice announcing the public meeting will be published shortly.

    The proposed rule was developed following a series of stakeholder meetings in 2010 to help OSHA gather information about electronic submission of establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904. The first proposed new requirement is for establishments with more than 250 employees (and who are already required to keep records) to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.

    OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA's Data Initiative.

    Note that the construction industry is one that is in the list of these designated high-hazard industries, meaning that virtually all construction employers with 20 or more employees would be required to submit their 300A log directly to OSHA each year.

    OSHA plans to eventually post the data online, as encouraged by President Obama's Open Government Initiative. Timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk, and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry. Additional information on the proposed rule can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=24002 and http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposed_data_form.html.

    Need to make sure your record keeping procedures are in order? Click here to find out when we have OSHA Record Keeping Workshops scheduled.

    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
  • 08 Oct 2013 3:29 PM | Jim Rogers

    Last week, NIOSH released three new education modules for use by educators to disseminate the Prevention through Design (PtD) concept within undergraduate engineering curricula. The modules focus on hazards associated with mechanical and electrical systems in facilities, the construction of reinforced concrete, and the construction of structural steel elements. According to NIOSH, each module outlines the motivations for PtD and encourages the inclusion of worker health and safety considerations early in the design process. Each module includes an instructor's manual and PowerPoint slides.

    The modules, which are available on NIOSH's website, cover the following topics:

    • Mechanical-electrical systems: Electrical hazards, National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) goals for working with electricity, and case studies to demonstrate effective PtD solutions for fall protection and mechanical-electrical systems safety.
    • Reinforced concrete design and structural steel design: Detailing, fabrication, and erection processes; and examples of how structural engineers and detailers can incorporate PtD into their designs.

    Learn more about PtD on NIOSH's website.

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